26 September 2017
Since this page was published in 2005, the supervisory application of the Le Pecq control centre was regularly updated. Today, TOPKAPI is at the heart of Suez's advanced VISIO control systems. Find out more about the Le Pecq VISIO Control Centre at https://eau.toutsurmesservices.fr/Un-centre-Visio-aux-portes-de-Paris-pour-une-vision-et-un-pilotage-a-360-de-l-eau.
Tomorrow's architectures seen by Lyonnaise des Eaux
We asked Pierre Sacareau, who works within CIRSEE (Suez-Environnement's technical expertise centre), to explain Lyonnaise des Eaux's projects in terms of upgrading the telecommunication infrastructures and the constraints this imposes on supervision.
The main motivations leading the Lyonnaise des Eaux to upgrade the data transmission media are:
- High cost of leased lines, as well as that of subscription to the telephone network, growing increasingly.
- Wish to use common transmission media for different types of data (data, voice, video ...).
- Operational maturity of new communication solutions (ADSL, VPN, MPLS) and interconnection equipment, with more secured exchanges.
- New needs of broadcasting technical data (flow rates, water quality, operating reports, etc.).
For Pierre Sacareau, the main data transmission media tomorrow will be VPNs(1) and ADSL, as well as GPRS and UMTS, but "we have a strong concern about backup solutions, as we need a solution to transmit alarms when the main network is faulty."
Is Topkapi well suited to these new architectures?
Regardless of the unavoidable basic client/server features, as although this does not go without saying for some supervisors, it seems natural for Topkapi, Pierre Sacareau points out that the latest upgrades of AREAL's flagship product meet most expectations, including transfer of interstation alarms for standby(2), development of TCP/IP and SMS acquisition protocols.
But he explains that easy shifting to a backup acquisition media if the primary channel is faulty should be possible(3). In addition, operating station redundancy secures the most critical sites.
Finally, the wish to benefit from the best possible commercial conditions for combined use of the different forms of remote client access is expressed: Open client (Topkapi client), Webserv (client access using a web browser) and TS (Terminal Services, Microsoft technologies for remote viewing of applications hosted by another station).
Indeed, AREAL offers to choose the solution most suited to requirements, but the solutions are complementary and simultaneous use of several techniques is often required.
To finish, we asked Pierre Sacareau if Lyonnaise des Eaux already have architectures meeting these focuses: "Yes, we have already implemented integrated architectures in many regional centres of Lyonnaise des Eaux (e.g. Clermont-Ferrand, Mougins, Montgeron, Bordeaux, etc.) and we are currently interconnecting these architectures, more particularly in terms of technical and organisational aspects.
For example, in Clermont-Ferrand, we centralised technical data management for the entire Loire-Auvergne regional centre, covering seven areas. Three Topkapi servers are installed in the Clermont Ferrand dispatch centre, one per Branch, and access of intervention staff is ensured either through a secured RAS(4) server, or a nomad client VPN of the Lyonnaise des Eaux national PC network, which we mutualise for data consultation.
In addition, safety issues are always present, as in certain sites we implemented backup dispatching, as between Le Pecq and Montgeron, or connecting to the technical VPN in Bordeaux a secured Topkapi station located outside the drinkable water dispatching site(5)."
1- For non specialists, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a network securing information exchanges via Internet by sending coded data through a private channel.
2 A Topkapi station ensures secured transmission of an alarm to another Topkapi station, which will handle it, allowing to design operating architectures centralised for standby.
3 Upgrades to Version 4.0 meet this requirement (see above).
4 Remote Access Service.
5 The concern is to be able to ensure remote operation even when the control centre is physically inaccessible, as for example during a fire.